Imran Khan condemns ‘politically motivated’ case after he and his wife sentenced for ‘un-Islamic’ marriage

Pakistan’s former prime minister and Bushra Bibi have already been sentenced to 14 years in corruption case as elections approach

A local court in Pakistan has sentenced Imran Khan, the country’s former prime minister, and his wife to seven years each in a case related to their marriage, which it declared “un-Islamic”.

Khan and Bushra Bibi were both last week separately handed 14-year sentences in a corruption case, known as Toshakhana, for illegally selling state gifts.

The verdict was announced on Saturday in the “un-Islamic marriage case”, which was filed by Bushra Bibi’s former husband.

It was the third sentence handed to Khan in a week. It was given at a hearing in the Rawalpindi prison, where he has been incarcerated since August and is facing more than 100 different charges.


After his conviction in the “iddat” case for not waiting 40 days to remarry after Bibi’s divorce, Khan told the reporters the case was created to “humiliate and disgrace” him and his wife.

“This marks the first instance in history where a case related to iddat has been initiated,” Khan said.

The timing of the three convictions is viewed as significant by observers, coming days before the general election scheduled for February 8th. Khan is banned from running in the election but he remains popular among voters.

Civil society, experts and analysts criticised the verdict. Hamid Mir, a renowned journalist and analyst, said: “The verdict is disgraceful for the judiciary.”

Reema Omer, a law expert, wrote on X: “The proceedings + convictions in the ‘iddat case’ (or specifically, ‘going through a marriage ceremony fraudulently without being lawfully married’) are a damning blot on our justice system.

“Horrifying the state stooped this low seemingly just to humiliate IK, Bushra Bibi.”

Khan was toppled from power in 2022 after a constitutional vote of no confidence against him, but he claims that the cases brought against him are politically motivated and denies any wrongdoing.

After his ousting, Khan criticised Pakistan’s powerful military which once brought him to power, and accused the serving military chief of having personal grudges against him. The country’s military has long been accused of meddling in politics.

Khan’s party leaders have parted ways or are behind the bars, and party workers have faced a severe crackdown. Khan’s party accused the state of not allowing it to campaign for the coming elections and arresting its workers and leaders.

Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, Khan’s close aide and media adviser, said the latest conviction was a fake case and that he had been a witness to the marriage.

“Is this all that’s left in the country and courts or systems to do? In a way it’s a victory for Imran Khan. Pakistan has stooped to a level where the whole politics is now about someone’s marriage or divorce,” Bukhari said.

– Guardian